Category Archives: Eat to Live

TV Dinner…

This was my dinner and I ate it in front of the TV… Voila a TV dinner!

TV Dinner

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Garden Quotes

Suncreek Garden is a 30 X 40, 6 row garden.  Gardening is cheaper than therapy…it’s good for the soul…it’s good exercise…it’s good for your health and it’s a practice in patience. 

This first row from left to right…Yellow Squash, Tomatillo, English Cucumber and Regular Cucumber. The second row is two varieties of heirloom tomato.Gardens… should be like lovely, well-shaped girls: all curves, secret corners, unexpected deviations, seductive surprises and then still more curves. ~H.E. Bates, A Love of Flowers

My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view. ~H. Fred Dale

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler

Weather means more when you have a garden. There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans. ~Marcelene Cox

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Wordless Wednesday…Carrots! Carotte! Cenoura!

Another entry for the Wordless Wednesday Weekly Photo Challenge…

 

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles: The Tomato Debate

 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...The Tomato Debate

 The tomato was once referred to as the Love Apple, Moor’s Apple and a Wolf Peach.  The name wolf peach comes from the long-held belief that the tomato was poisonous.  One 17th Century cookbook declared, while it was safe to eat a cooked tomato it was “not advisable”.  However eating a raw tomato would cause instantaneous death.  Although untrue, this lethal accusation lingered until the early 1800′s.

The controversy over the toxic tomato was only the beginning of the tomato debate.  An additional debate was most likely the topic of many garden conversations…was the tomato a vegetable or a fruit.  The issue seemed to cause such division that the debate was taken before the United States Supreme Court.   In 1887 the issue was settled when the powers to be decided to split the difference.  The Court ruled that although “botanically speaking tomatoes are the fruit of a vine” they were vegetables “in the  common language of the people.”

Here at Suncreek Garden there really isn’t much of a debate.  We grow heirloom tomatoes.  We enjoy them cooked as well as raw and thus far no one has fallen ill or even worse.  Also, we don’t prefer the tomato fruit over the tomato vegetable or vice versa…we just prefer tomatoes!

*On a side note…The tomato serves as both the official state vegetable and the official state fruit of Arkansas, in honor of the South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato, sometimes known as “Bradley Pink.”

What say you about the tomato debate?

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…garden fail, who knew?

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…garden fail!  I think this may be what brussels sprouts look like when grown under the wrong conditions…  Out of 6 plants this is the only one with significant sprout growth but… these sprouts have just stopped growing! 

I am not sure we have truly failed at growing brussels sprouts.  I have done a bit of research in the past few days and it seems that we just lack knowledge.  Our winter temperatures have been on the warm side, but it would seem not too warm for the brussels.  It also seems that the plants may be just waiting on us to take the next step.  I have read that we should begin harvesting the lower leaves and sprouts of the plant to stimulate continued growth of the remaining sprouts.  Who knew?

Well someone knew and now I think I know…how to over come our possible garden fail. 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Fail

Of all of the winter veggies we planted I was most excited by the possibility of growing our own brussels sprouts. Which in itself blows my mind. You see before last year I was not a fan of cabbage or brussels sprouts. Of course my professed dislike for these veggies had no real basis to it. As I child I had associated a bout of stomach flu with eating cabbage at my aunt’s house. So for years and I do mean years I refused to eat, actually I refused to even try a dish that contained cabbage or brussels sprouts.

My husband really enjoys eating cabbage. Also, there is a lady that I work with who goes to an incredible amount of work making cabbage rolls. We are talking over 100 individual rolls. She is so sweet and makes this dish out of love and there is just no way to refuse to eat this dish when she makes it for you. So between the two of them they have worn me down. I finally had to give in and give this incredibly humble veg another try. Guess what? I like it! I do. Now I am not going to go out of my way to make fried or stewed cabbage or even cabbage rolls. But I will eat a serving if it’s offered to me.

On the other hand I have fallen in love with brussels sprouts. I can not explain it. I don’t think I want to try. But I really like these little bite size morsels.  I find myself adding them to my grocery cart whenever they are available. Who knew?!

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan…we planted a winter garden and then winter failed to show up.  We built a temporary greenhouse so we could start the seedlings for the spring garden…our placement of the greenhouse may have stifled the growth of a couple of our cold weather loving plants.  Whatever the outcome of this first attempt at growing a winter garden will give us knowledge and experience as we make our plans for next seasons attempt at growing a home garden. 

 

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Wordless Wednesday…Naturally sweet!

Wordless Wednesday…Naturally sweet! Sugar Snap Peas…

Wordless Wednesday...Naturally Sweet!

 

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Brussel Sprouts

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Brussel Sprouts

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Brussel Sprouts

This is our first attempt at growing one of our favorite veggies…I have read that brussel sprouts flourish when the weather is frosty…today the high was 70 degrees…no frost in sight.  I hope we will enjoy the veggies of our labors before the warm temperatures encourage the appearance of aphids or cabbage worms.

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Seedlings!

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Seedlings!

The South Texas winter of 2012 has been mild and uneventful.  The temperatures this week are moderate; lows in the mid 40′s and the highs in the mid 70′s.  We are finally getting some well needed rain and we are very thankful for it.  The combination of these favorable conditions has lengthened our growing season. 

Our first try at a fall/winter garden has been a success.  We are harvesting green leaf, red & green romaine and butter lettuces, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower and a few surprise root veggies.  The fall/winter garden season should be wrapping up by now but the veggies are not showing any signs of fading.  This is a good thing!  Well, it is and it isn’t…well it is more than it isn’t… well you don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Exactly what does that saying mean?  Anyway, I digress.  The only reason a longer fall/winter growing season isn’t a good thing is that we are now beginning to plan and plant the early spring garden.  This means somethings will be removed before they run their course.  That makes a gardener/farmer very sad. 

Currently, Farmer Hubs has started the seeds for the spring lettuces, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.  We will not plant the seedlings in the garden until after the last freeze.  Which could have already happened but in all actuality will probably rear its ugly little frozen head sometime in early March.  We will definitely consult the Farmers Almanac, Bulldog (my Dad), Dear Abbey and Judge Judy and weigh out all of the advice and then turn around and do exactly what we want to do.

Houston…the seeds have been planted and we have lift off!

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Seedlings

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Carrot Challenge

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Carrots can be a bit of a challenge!

Carrots are a root vegetable usually orange in color though purple, red, yellow and white varieties do exist.  The most commonly eaten part of the carrot is the tap-root, however the green tops are also edible.

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Carrots

Carrots are enjoyed raw as well as cooked.  They are included in soups, stews and baby food.  Together with onions and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in mirepoix to make various broths.

Suncreek Garden Chonicles...Carrots

Carrots grow best in full sun but will tolerate some shade.  According to experienced gardeners carrots grow best in loose soil.  Hard compact rocky soil will result in deformed carrots.  Guess what?  Our raised beds are definitely not deep enough…Gardener note*Raise the carrot beds another 2′. 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Carrots

Also carrots are reported to be useful companion plants for gardeners. There is experimental evidence, which I obviously have no first hand knowledge of, that growing carrots intercropped with tomatoes will increase the production of the tomatoes.  This is something to consider giving a try, especially since my favorite fruit/veg is the wonderfully delicious tomato.

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…will continue to experiment with growing carrots…by the way the carrot may not have been much to look at but it was tasty.

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    The Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Under Wraps

    Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Under Wraps

    The Suncreek Garden Chronicles … Under Wraps is an experiment the hubs is trying out on our fall garden.  He is hoping to prolong the growing cycle of our fall plantings of lettuces, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and brussels sprouts by covering the garden with a temporary makeshift greenhouse.  Texas winters are mild in comparison to most of the country but a Blue Norther can rear its ugly head when you least expect it and lay waste to what was a productive backyard garden.

    Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Under Wraps Butter Lettuce

    Because the entire fall garden is an experiment we are totally amazed at the volume and quality of the lettuces.  We are also puzzled as to why the cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts are not producing veggies.  The plants are healthy with plenty of leaves but we do not have any real signs of veggie development.   With the exception of the broccoli.  There are two small heads that have appeared just this week.

    Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Under Wraps Sugar Snap Peas

    The sugar snap peas were put under wraps a couple of weeks ago when the temps dipped to below freezing.  When the temps began to warm up to above 40 the hubs peeled back the wrap and discovered the terrarium like atmosphere had sent the sugar snap peas into a full flower bloom state.  The wraps were left in place until this week.  We are expecting a warming trend and rain over the weekend so the wraps were removed and to our utter amazement the plants are covered in sugar snap peas.  I picked the first batch and they are sweet and crunchy and delicious.

    So far…the Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Under Wraps experiment is showing positive results.  Stay tuned for more veggie updates!

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